As many of you know Sandy was recently awarded the [F]Award for Humanitarian Photographer of the Year by the Framed Network. This was such a huge honor, and to give you some idea of how much this really means I interviewed Melissa at the Framed Network to discuss this award and how Sandy became nominated and then chosen as the recipient of this exclusive award. If you aren't familiar with Sandy's involvement in Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, you can read about its inception, mission and incredible growth on the NILMDTS website: nowilaymedowntosleep.org.
SP: First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to share a little more about your network with our readers!
Melissa: Absolutely! I want to say congratulations to Sandy to start, and let everyone know how pleased we are to recognize her as this year's Humanitarian Photographer of the Year.
SP: For those who aren't familiar with the Framed Network, can you tell our readers a little bit about the organization and what you do?
Melissa: [FRAMED] Awards is a division of [F] Network, an online platform of educational and inspirational shows for photographers. [F] Network features unique talent that has a great story to tell who can also educate the photography industry.
SP: It's incredible to see how many nominations there were for this award. Can you explain a little more about the [F] Award and the process of selecting a recipient?
Melissa: Yes! It was an overwhelming response. [FRAMED] Awards opened up our first inaugural awards platform in January of 2013. With just under three weeks of time for entries and over 170,000 total nominations, the [FRAMED] Awards Committee tallied and compiled nominations and listed the top 5 to 10 nominees for each category. We then listed the top nominees and after more than 400,000 votes, the winners were then announced March 12, 2013.
SP: With the Humanitarian category, what were some of the qualifications that you were looking for in a recipient?
Melissa: When we opened up nominations, this is the verbiage we placed in Sandy's specific category:
Nominate the photographer of your choice who you believe takes time away from their photography profession to give back to society, individuals, or communities through their photography during the duration of the 2012 calendar year. Not only do they do this without compensation, they sacrifice personal time for the betterment of individuals. Plus, they inspire others to do the same.
SP: It was so humbling for Sandy to learn how much support there was for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.
Melissa: Her story of co-founding the organization is so powerful. The votes poured in for Sandy and her NILMDTS organization. The [FRAMED] Awards committee watched a few stories and saw the affect that the organization had on families who lost their little ones. What a beautiful and memorable service NILMDTS is for the mothers and families! With the combination of votes from her fans and viewers plus the positive outreach that NILMDTS has on the community, we honor and congratulate all involved.
SP: Thank you Melissa! And a special thanks to everyone at the Framed Network and those who nominated and voted to help raise awareness for NILMDTS.